Yoga during Menstrual cycle

By Patricia | December 26, 2008
Poses To Avoid During Your Periods

All Inversions, Yogasanas (poses) to be avoided during menstrual period.

During the menstrual period a woman is not advised to do inverted poses for physiologic as well as philosophic reasons. During menstruation, a woman’s pelvic vascular bed has more blood than otherwise. This blood supply enters her uterus from the left and right sides of her pelvis. In inverted poses, your uterus gets pulled towards your head by the force of gravity. This causes the broad ligaments in your uterus to get stretched, a stretch that can result in a partial collapse or thrombosis in the thin-walled veins. However, all the time the wholesome arteries continue to pump blood into the uterus. As a result of this, more blood enters than the uterus can hold or that can be pumped away by the veins. This can result in vascular congestion that can cause far heavier menstrual bleeding, akin to hemorrhaging.

Ancient philosophy tells us that during menstruation the natural flow of energy is downward and flowing out of the body. This flow must never be tampered with or stymied, let alone reversed as it is in inverted poses.

Non-supported Backbends and Free-Standing Poses are also not recommended during the menstrual period.

As a rule, all poses that necessitate the use of vigorous effort and a lot of energy are best avoided during the menstrual period. At this time, your reserves of strength are naturally rather low, causing you to be wobbly or unsteady. It is for this reason that you may find strenuous backbends and standing poses done in the middle of a room rather difficult. To even attempt such poses when your levels of energy are low could result in further depletion of energy or even cause you harm.

Poses Recommended During Menstruation

These guidelines are in no way intended to limit or restrict your practices, but are recommended in a bid to further enhance them, so you enjoy and derive greater benefits from your yoga sessions.

Forward Bends

  • Janu Sirshasana (Head to Single Knee Pose)
  • Paschimottanasana (Head to both Knees forward bend)
  • Modified forward bends in chair with fists pressed into lower abdomen
  • Hasta Padangusthasana (Hands to Toes Pose)

Standing Poses

  • The Revolved Half Moon Pose or Parivrtta Ardha Chandrasana. You should do this pose using a chair or wall for support.
  • Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle Pose)
  • Trikonasana (Triangle Pose)

Twists

  • Child Twist Pose
  • Seated Chair Twist
  • Supine Knee to Chest Twist

Supported Sethu Bandha (Supported Bridge Pose)

All these asanas (poses) have a calming effect on the body and mind. They have all proven extremely helpful in cases of pelvic discomfort, for backache associated with menstruation and for menstrual cramps.

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